Tips on Writing a Futuristic Sci-Fi (or an Ancient Historical)


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The future is coming too fast!

Everything happens so much. Life just keeps zooming along and I’m like, “Fine, I can deal with all the massive change, totally.” But then I go to write and the future is in my book, too.

giphy-3I can’t escape it!

The worst thing is that the future in my book doesn’t seem to be future enough.

I’m writing a sci-fi and I have lots of cool medicine and technology, things like self-driving cars and bionic limbs.

It’s all very cool and fun, but it’s all stuff we’ll probably have within twenty years!

I want my writing to stand the test of time.

I want to be very sci-fi and futuristic, like “Hey, hover cars!” except hover cars don’t really fit with my story or characters. That’s the problem.

I have to think about what technology or advancements my book needs.

51pt9kfhwulWould hover cars and virtual reality contacts be cool? Yes. Definitely. Of course.

Do they fit in this book? No.

I’ve been working on my outline with the help of a very cool, but very frustrating book called The Anatomy of Story by John Truby.

In it he talks about the fallacy of the future, which apart from being a very fun phrase to say—fallacy of the future—it’s the idea that writing about the future means writing about the future.

It doesn’t.

Stories about the future are about the choices we’re making today.

They are what may happen if we stay set in our ways or what could happen if make better or worse choices.

That sort of sounds like the same thing as predicting the future, but I disagree. I’d say that any good story, set now, 100 years ago, or a 100 years to come—any good story should feel like it’s happening right now.

A good story should feel real and immediate, no matter when or where it is set.

The book also talks about the fallacy of the past, which is the same as the fallacy of the future, but instead of being about the choices we make, it is about the values we hold.

In historical fiction, you aren’t held to the beliefs or moral codes of the past.

You aren’t writing history, you’re writing fiction.

In historical fiction, you should show how values of the past still hurt people today or how values of the past are still good and should be brought back. Don’t hold historical stories to a different standard.

Bring them to the present, expose or highlight them with what we know now.

I’m not sure how much more futuristic I’m going to make this book.

The futuristic aspects do feel normal and natural to my characters, so maybe when we’re laying on our hover beds reading this book on a holographic screen we won’t laugh at this story as a failed future prediction, but instead enjoy it as a historical piece instead.

I don’t know. I probably won’t really care by that point. I plan to take advantage of technology until I die. My grandkids are going to hate me. They’ll say, “Grandma, it’s our turn in the VR room!”

And I’ll say, “No way! When I was your age we only had virtual reality in goggles, like giant glasses on your face! It was barbaric. I couldn’t use my phone in the pool OR the shower. Can you imagine taking a bath without being able to browse the web or watch TV? No. Go complain to your Mom.”

I’m probably going to be a terrible grandmother.

But, um… Yeah, the future is coming. We’ve just got to be prepared.

What’s your ideal vision of the future? I wanna know. Tell me below and subscribe for more videos in the immediate future.

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